LED Lighting - Page 3 - Yamaha FJR Forum : Yamaha FJR Owners Forums
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post #21 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 09:26 PM
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Listening in here and can’t help thinking about the experience that I had this past year upgrading headlights on my Toyota Tacoma. Living in a semi-rural area bordering park and farmlands good headlights are a must with the dense wildlife. Having had a few Ducati’s in my long history with motorcycles I know what bad headlights look like!

My fairly new to me 2015 ES has what I consider pretty good headlights but given my surroundings I’m always listening to this type of discussion. But it leaves me with one question and doubt on LED bulb solutions.

Don’t you need a headlight lense built specifically for LED bulbs? When trying the simple “plug and play” LED bulb solution on my Tacoma (stock headlights not as good as my FJR’s) I learned the hard way the LED’s seemed brighter but didn’t get any better “throw” than stock. Even worse, they were a hazard to oncoming traffic.

Researching further I came across a lot of explanations as to why this is so and rather than bore you guys with details (besides I’m a marketer not an engineer) suffice it to say it came down to if you want LED’s you need lenses designed for them to reap their potential and prevent becoming a hazard.

On an aside I did end up with an HID setup (including ballasts) that has been incredibly effective (far greater throw) that are not hazards to oncoming traffic.

Would appreciate hearing back on this topic of how effective the stock lense is with an LED and if anyone has checked the light dispersion from the perspective of an oncoming driver/rider.
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post #22 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 10:06 PM
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Hugh, ideally you're right, reflectors designed for LED's would be ideal. But... the "proper" LED's with the shields and dimensions to make them as close to identical as the original halogen are what you want for a properly focused beam. The early LED's had no shields and just filled the reflector with light that went all over the place so the the freeway signs were nicely illuminated overhead, etc. LOL. HID's tried to do the same but with a projector lens (good), and now HID's are becoming history. The F2's are for now as close to being compliant as it gets, with DOT ones on the horizon.

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post #23 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 10:14 AM
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No LED or HID bulb-only retrofit kit is DOT approved for use. Slimy operators sell DOT components but the reflector, lens, bulb, and ballast have to be a matched set to meet DOT. As 5brooks correctly observes the source of light is in a different shape and not quite the exact same location as the intended bulb so the pattern is not what it should be.

There is an art to designing good headlights. Even illumination, focused to stay out of eyes of oncoming traffic. Brighter is rarely better because night blindness makes it harder to see outside the illuminated spot. Believe it or not the unfocused "high" beams are not as bright as low because the same 55W light is spread over 2-10 times the volume as the focused low beam. The magic comes from uniformly putting light where it is needed.

The Federal CFR for automotive headlights is one of the worst bureaucratic gobbledy gook I have ever seen. Mind numbing.

Found myself riding backroads on new 2002 GL1800 in the middle of the night in the rain in NC 300 miles from home. Lots of miles on high beam. Never had 4 bulb (H7) headlight on motorcycle before. Was impressed and disappointed. Surprised at how high the headlights illuminated. Disappointed at all the shadow artifacts the light threw. But I got to the campsite safely navigating with a Garmin GPS V. The first Garmin with by-road routing. A little thing. Could upload 1.4MB of maps! Always thought that strange the memory was same size as an 3.5" HD floppy disc.

My 2016 appears (it is blinding to look) to use an array of LEDs each with its own reflector and lens. Harley-Davidson seems to do the same but its painfully obvious to oncoming traffic. H-D has never been subtile. Perhaps the 2015 FJR and prior headlight lens is not focused? Just a cover? Then a retrofit projector-style LED which makes no use of the FJR reflector might produce an acceptable pattern.

The halogen headlights on my 2000 Avalon were the best I had ever driven. Traded for a 2007 Prius with HID and was looking forward the the "advance" in headlight technology. Was greatly disappointed, Prius HID was not as good as Avalon halogen. The Prius HID illumination was rife with artifacts. Bright and dark patterns. But it had a sharp cutoff line. Didn't have high expectations for HID on Tesla but they are as good or better than the Avalon. Later Tesla changed to LED headlights and many customers were disappointed in the results. Am very pleased with the LED on my FJR.

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post #24 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 10:38 PM
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Thanks for the feedback guys. I’ll wait for the DOT approved version and try LED’s then.

I would reiterate though the HID’s I put in my Tacoma are excellent without the crazy dispersion the shielded LED’s I tried had that caused terrible glare for oncoming people. As you mention the cutoff is sharp but the depth of throw is amazing. The Phillips bulbs I use were the right choice.

Fascinating that HID is becoming outdated. Expected to see LED make progress but it’s just over a year!
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post #25 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 11:53 PM
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Thanks, guys. I guess I will wait.

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post #26 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-16-2018, 07:07 PM
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I had no problems with my PIAA headlights I purchased last year until this thread! Started her up today and saw the left headlamp out! I seem to go through a set of headlamps every year! I don't touch them, I wear latex gloves, I am super carefull, and they still burnout every year. I'm going to give the F2's a try.
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post #27 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-16-2018, 07:30 PM
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Here is what I ordered, hopefully it the correct one.



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post #28 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-16-2018, 08:32 PM
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by FjrjrF View Post
Here is what I ordered, hopefully it the correct one.

https://www.amazon.com/CATIZON-9005-...TIZON-LED&th=1

Please offer feedback.
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post #29 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-16-2018, 09:17 PM
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To the point of the topcase lighting additions:
I installed a very expensive Admore kit into the Missus' NC700XD's Givi-built Honda topcase. It did not overwhelm.
Along the way I started experimenting with inexpensive LED strips and kits from Ebay and Amazon. These worked much better in terms of lighting.
The Admore processor is very good and does the best overall presentation, integrating turn signals into the topcase elements. Still, my own parts were much brighter, much less expensive, and have not failed yet.
For some reason, we have more Givi topcases than motorcycles these days. All have had LED installations. Using them in dense urban and suburban traffic has convinced me that high-mounted tail and brake lights are a significant benefit.
For the connection between the bike and case, I've standardized on a common three-pole automotive connector I got from Amazon. They have been reasonably reliable. By now, at least five of our bikes have had this personal standard connection. I haven't bothered with adding turn signals to the topcase systems, though. A bit of extra work and not much additional help- most of our bikes have been Kawasakis, which have excellent turn signals stock that are way more visible than the FJR's.
I made up little high/low intensity "processors" from some diodes and resistors and swaddled them in shrink tube. Therefore, I get tail lights and then brakes lights upon application by the "processor" taking juice from either the stock tail or brake conductors., wyed together.
I also have added cheap Chinese LED brake light strips to the rear faces of the Givi topcase mounting plates, wired high-intensity/brake light only. In the nasty traffic hereabouts, I'm almost reluctant now to go out without all of this rear lighting.
A couple of the bikes have also had ElectricalConnection.com turn signal+running light conversions, where you get a red taillight added to your OEM turn signal that syncs with the turn signal and goes out when the amber comes on. Had this on my old ZX1100 for many, many years. Adding a few lumens always seems to help.

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post #30 of 79 (permalink) Old 12-16-2018, 09:33 PM
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I agree the Admore top case kits are underwhelming, so never went there. I do have a 5 meter red LED strip from China, the waterproof version (just a coating) and will work on tail/brake setup in the Givi this winter. They are quite bright, impressive. I also have a Whelen Strip-Lite that has integrated signals.... half the price or less of Admore's large light bar, which now does have bright LED's.... I mounted it on the Givi plate, just below it. Many have commented on it.

Ray
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